Popular Science

Blow flies help us solve murders—but climate change is forcing them out

Rising temperatures are driving these crime-fighting insects from their homes.
A chrysomya megacephala, commonly known as a blow fly.

A chrysomya megacephala, commonly known as a blow fly.

Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Climate change has spurred the spread of invasive insects that devour crops, destroy homes, and spread disease. Now, rising temperatures are driving cadaver-eating blow flies to migrate north in search of cooler weather, with consequences for forensic scientists who rely on them to solve crimes.

Blow flies are drawn to dead bodies, both human and animal. They land on a fresh corpse within minutes of death. The females the or of suspected killers.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Popular Science

Popular Science4 min readWellness
How To Avoid Summer Colds
The sun is out, the mercury is climbing, and despite their name, “colds” are rampant. Summer colds are, of course, terrible, but you can strand them at the beach as long as you know what’s causing them.
Popular Science4 min readPsychology
A Tiny Polish Village Has Had Nothing But Baby Girls For A Decade—and That’s Actually Pretty Normal
It has now been almost a decade since the last boy was born in this place, with the most recent 12 babies all having been girls.
Popular Science2 min read
The Best Backyard Games For When The Weather Is Nice
Considering many of us spend half the year enduring sub-freezing temperatures, summer is best spent outside, which means your plans for dinner, movies, and entertainment should adapt accordingly. And since summer vacation usually induces a bit of tra